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Richard Helm's alleged murderer was 'complete stranger'

By John Scott | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

The man accused of murdering father of four Richard Helm was a complete stranger to him, a jury heard.

Richard Helm and his brother's burnt out car

The 37-year-old victim had "never set eyes" on Danny Cooper before the stabbing, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Mr Stephen Linehan, QC, prosecuting, added while outlining the trail of violence that ended in death: "These events had nothing to do with the deceased. When they happened he was asleep at his home."

During the night of October 11/12 Cooper, who lived in Chelmsley Wood, had taken sides in a local feud he had no previous involvement with.

The 32-year-old defendant hurled hunks of concrete through windows at the home of ground worker Richard Helm's sister Kelsie in Adey Road, Ashmore Park and attacked her in the street.

She had parted from Luke Fry, the father of her three children and the man at the centre of the feud. The stoning of her house was aimed at getting him to return to the address, the jury heard.

Fry was suspected of stealing a large amount of money from the nearby Raven Crescent home of Matty Stinson who was in prison at the time and the feud flared between them after the inmate's release, it was claimed.

Ashley Wilson grew up in the area before moving to Birmingham and remained friends with Stimson but also knew Cooper who had been drinking with them that night and was allegedly "out of control and enjoying the violence."

Richard Helm and his brother Anthony were phoned at their homes in Ashmore Park by their father in the early hours of October 12 and asked to go and see how Kelsie was after the violence.

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They went to her address, heard what had happened and Anthony drove his brother to the home of Stinson.

Richard fought with Stinson outside the property before Anthony took over the struggle and did not see the stabbing, said the prosecutor.

He spotted Richard on hands and knees, broke free and asked if he was OK but got no response. Then a petrol bomb was thrown into Anthony's car and he rushed to remove it before realising his brother had been knifed.

When a second Molotov cocktail was hurled into the car he ignored the blaze to concentrate on his brother who died at the scene minutes after arriving.

Cooper from Maytree Close admits assault and criminal damage. He and Wilson, aged 32, of Guernsey Drive, also Chelmsley Wood both deny murder and the case continues.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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